With the Grand Final coming up on Tuesday, I thought it would be cool to look back at my first three match weeks in the Vintage Super League so far and share my thoughts going into these groups and matchups.
Cyrus Corman-Gill, Rich Shay, Bob Maher
Welcome to the show, Andreas! I was up against an Eternal specialist, a Vintage guru I always looked up to and a Hall of Famer. My scouting revealed that Cyrus would register Tendrils of Agony, Rich would be on either Shops or Dredge while Bob would most likely play a fair blue strategy. I wanted to run a Xerox build with a respectable plan against the metagame that would allow me to also field some underplayed green cards in the process. My first candidate for those cards, Sylvan Library is a great turn one play, especially in matchups where you can mess around with your life total. Green card number two, Managorger Hydra, should make me a favorite against opposing Xerox decks with little to no answers to a giant multi-headed monster. I also decided to run two copies of Dissenter’s Deliverance to double as artifact removal and cantrip, and even though Rich didn’t bring Shops to the table, it showed some utility against the Defense Grid in Cyrus’ deck.
I took a very close match from Cyrus after he bricked on Necropotence in one of the games but I got slaughtered by the army of the dead against Rich. Against Bob I dominated the match with my green cards just according to plan. A winning record in any of these powerful groups would leave me satisfied, so 2-1 is a great start to the season. With the way the tournament structure is set up, I needed to repeat that score to advance to the top 8.
Cyrus Corman-Gill, Seth Manfield, Andy Markiton
When I saw this group, I was sure the system was rigged and didn’t want me to advance. A world champion and Magic Pro League member was added to the mix, and I knew I had to get smart with my deck choice. Up until this week, I didn’t have any results with Dredge on record, so I decided it was a good time to sleeve it up and hopefully catch my opponents a little bit off guard. I anticipated Seth to play a blue fair deck, Cyrus to be on Paradoxical Outcome and Andy to be on Shops. Seth ended up with a sweet plan against Dredge out of his Oath deck with the double Blazing Archon that I had zero answers for. However, I was able to get creative in our deciding game and got a vital win. Cyrus was once again on the receiving end of some godlike draws from my side, but Andy got the better of me with his Robots backed up by Wasteland and graveyard hate. Another 2-1 put me at 4-2 overall, and I was ready for the quarterfinal playoffs, which would only let one player through to the semifinals. No one said it was gonna be easy.
Cyrus Corman-Gill, Andy Markiton, Andy Probasco
The fact that both Cyrus and Andy were featured again this week shows you why I feel like my groups were so tough throughout the tournament. Andy “BrassMan” Probasco joined the party, and I had no idea about what he would play. With everything on the line, I put Cyrus on Paradoxical Outcome and Andy on Shops. I thought about bringing Jeskai Mentor, but at the last minute, I decided to do something cool to at least go out with a bang. I wanted to try Dark Confidant as my draw engine and build a deck with powerful hatebears from all colors powered by Deathrite Shaman. I like the result quite a bit, but I didn’t like my matchup against BrassMan in the first round of our double-elimination bracket. I had to face a cheeky Jund deck with tons of hard-to-deal-with cards like Tarmogoyf and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. In the games themselves, luck was on my side again and sent me timely Abrupt Decay and Spell Pierce. After that, I was able to ride off to the sunset on the back of the blue card advantage that BrassMan lacked in his colors. In my next match, I absolutely crushed Andy Markiton with Energy Flux to take out his trusty artifacts. In my last round against Cyrus I could stem the early bleeding. Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade did the heavy lifting and got me there. I drew very well the entire evening, and I wouldn’t play this deck unless I prioritize fun over winning. This was a special night where I got to have both.
Here is the playlist for the whole season up until this point.
On the timeline this puts us just before the semifinals (and, spoiler alert, grand finals!) which I will get talk about next time. Make sure to hit me up if you have any questions or feedback about my Vintage Super League campaign and wish me luck in the Grand Finals against Rachel Agnes!